TN police suspend ‘Friends of Police’ from policing services

South India

The Tamil Nadu police have imposed a temporary ban on ‘Friends of Police’ (FoP), a volunteer body established to assist the police in controlling crowds in public gathering events, vehicle check-ups, traffic control, and sometimes even in investigations.

According to reports, the ban has been imposed for at least two months through an oral instruction communicated to all the district police offices on Sunday. Senior police officers have instructed the filed officers to recall the identity cards issued to the volunteers and not to engage them in any police-related activities.

The move came in the wake of reports that some volunteers of the FOP were allegedly involved in the assault on P Jayaraj and J Benicks at the Sathankulam police station on June 19. The father-son duo died in custody after they were arrested for allegedly violating the lockdown norms on shop timings.

However, the FoP has denied the allegation, according to The News Minute. A statement issued by the FoP from its base at Chennai said that there were no volunteers attached to the Sathankulam police station and hence there is no way that its volunteers could have engaged in the custodial torture of Jayaraj and Bennix.

The media reports were based on statements given by several eyewitnesses and Bennix’s sister Percy that on the night of June 19, FoP volunteers also took an active part in assaulting Jayaraj and Bennix at the station.

Image Credit: New Indian Express

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